Tag Archive for: Healthy nutrition

Food and beverage industry interference is defined as influencing legal frameworks and policy environments in order to delay, weaken or prevent the development of healthy eating policies. These companies and groups related to their interests carry out different actions to intervene in the development of public policies and to influence the academic world and science.

This report seeks to document the case of interference by the food industry in Argentina, within the framework of the debate and sanction of the Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating (No. 27,642), better known as the Labeling Law, as well as the initiatives developed by civil society to counteract this interference.

This report, carried out with the financial support of the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), compiles the views of five civil society organizations that actively and jointly participated in the promotion of the law, and currently continue working towards its correct implementation: the Inter-American Heart Foundation Argentina (FIC Argentina), Consciente Colectivo, the Foundation for the Development of Sustainable Policies (FUNDEPS), the Foundation
SANAR and the Argentine Federation of Nutrition Graduates (FAGRAN). These organizations, free of conflict of interest, began working together in 2021 and provided scientific evidence to justify the choice of labeling. In addition, they carried out advocacy actions with different political decision-makers during all the years in which the policy was debated, and carried out communication campaigns to inform and support the approval of the law.

In situations of multidimensional crisis, such as the one our country is going through, those who suffer the most are the lower-income sectors and, in particular, girls, boys and adolescents. The withdrawal of the State and economic deregulation imply greater lack of protection. Guaranteeing the basic right to adequate food, in this context, becomes urgent. So we ask ourselves again: what can and what should we demand from the State in terms of food? Does it make sense to question what kind of food we want in our pots? Or do we have to settle for “what there is”?

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

In Argentina, inflation continues to rise. The index of the Social Debt Observatory of the UCA (Argentine Catholic University) showed that the population that does not cover its basic food needs went from 9.4% at the end of the third quarter of 2023, to 15% in January , and that poverty affects 57% of the people in this country. In turn, Indec reported that the Basic Food Basket (BCA) increased 18.6% in January and 296.4% in the last twelve months, above inflation (254.2%). While, according to the Neighborhood Price Index (IBP) of the Social, Economic and Citizen Policy Research Institute (ISEPCi), food prices increased by up to 69.7% since last December. These figures reflect a noticeable increase in indigence and poverty.

To this information, we add that which already alerted us: the quality of life of the Argentine population has been progressively deteriorating. 73.4% of deaths are due to Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, these are responsible for 52% of the years of life lost due to premature death and 76% of the years of life adjusted for disability. Proper nutrition is one of the main risk factors.

Despite the statistics and the context, the national government, a few days before the start of the year 2024, decided to completely interrupt the supply of food to soup kitchens. Numerous organizations daily denounce that “the pots are empty”, “the food emergency is urgent and necessary” and “there is no freedom when there is nothing on the table”, as well as the double burden they must bear: at times when they least have to offer, is when more people come looking for a plate of food.

This framework encourages us to reflect on the minimum conditions that we must guarantee, such as life and human dignity, for it to make sense to talk about rights such as freedom. Also talk again about the role that the State must play to guarantee these rights. The notion that a present State is necessarily abusive collides with what reality exposes: rights lack satisfaction in the absence of a State that ensures their protection through effective policies.

Food is one of the most basic human needs and is closely linked to people’s life and health. Given its essential and indispensable nature, it was recognized as a fundamental human right in various international human rights treaties that today enjoy constitutional hierarchy in our country. This normative consecration gives rise to imperative and enforceable legal obligations on the head of the State to: respect, protect and guarantee the effective fulfillment of this right.

Food policies in Argentina

In our country, food problems, unfortunately, are not new. When doing a retrospective analysis, it is possible to observe in different historical periods great crises and political tensions regarding the role of the State as guarantor of this right.

Prior to the constitutional reform of 1994, the development of the right to food was largely subordinated to labor law and the living wage, since a privatized reading of food rights and obligations prevailed. However, in the 1980s a different political-social approach began to take hold. Given the context of need that was experienced after the years of military dictatorship, people began to talk about a food emergency, a paradigm based on welfare policies that has prevailed to this day.

Its regulatory consolidation occurred in 2002 when, in response to one of the most acute crises that our country has suffered, the National Food Emergency recognized by Decree No. 108 (01/15/2002) was declared, which has been extended without interruptions until current situation, and which was arranged in order to meet the basic food needs of the population in conditions of vulnerability and with subsistence risks.

Shortly thereafter, Law 25,724 on the Declaration of National Food Emergency was passed, which instituted the National Nutrition and Food Program, known as the National Food Security Plan “The Most Urgent Hunger” (PNSA), intended to cover the minimum nutritional requirements of groups in situations of extreme vulnerability. This law constitutes to this day the main food policy of our country.

From the food emergency to adequate nutrition

More than 20 years after its entry into force, there is plenty of evidence and bibliography to account for the important limitations and deficiencies presented by this paradigm, which limits the treatment of the food issue to a basic level of satisfaction of minimum caloric needs. And, therefore, its inability to generate structural transformations that allow progress towards a state of food security and sovereignty. Also the serious impact on health that can imply that the food programs that have been established, both at the national and provincial levels, do not have good nutritional criteria and standards. This has to do with the fact that emergency strategies tend to ignore the multiple facets that the food problem encompasses in its complexity, including the so-called “triple burden” of malnutrition: hunger and malnutrition, generalized deficiency of micronutrients and malnutrition due to excess. This needs to be addressed as a health problem linked to the consumption of ultra-processed food products with excess critical nutrients.

This lack came to be questioned by Law 27,642 on the Promotion of Healthy Eating, sanctioned in 2021.

The extensive legislative process that was promoted to achieve the enactment of this law generated a fundamental movement in the public debate on food in our country. This law has been established as a bridge between policies that address historical food problems, such as hunger and malnutrition; and those that seek to reverse modern food problems, linked to excess malnutrition and chronic diseases that are caused by the poor quality of the food products consumed today. The latter affects the entire population since it is linked to the transformation of dietary patterns, although surveys indicate that the highest prevalence is found in lower-income economic sectors. For its part, the problem of hunger is directly linked to poverty.

The Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, although it does not directly address the problem of lack of food, does establish measures that are fundamental for the transformation of food systems that, directly or indirectly, contribute to greater food security and sovereignty. and generate an improvement in the quality of food assistance. For example, it requires the State that public purchases of food that are destined for soup kitchens where children and adolescents attend, to state agencies and food programs, be made up of healthy foods that do not present warning seals (that is, that they do not have excess sugar, sodium, fat, sweetener or caffeine). It also establishes the importance of encouraging the development of family, peasant and indigenous agriculture.

In this way, the law is positioned, on the one hand, as a valuable instrument to positively impact the health of the most vulnerable sectors of the population, who are those most exposed to the consumption of processed and ultra-processed products. And on the other, to begin to transform the way in which the Argentine State, historically, has constructed its food policies and, more specifically, in its most urgent aspect, that is, hunger. Finally, when thinking about what those who have the least eat, the need to incorporate nutritional criteria and not just the amount of calories was put on the table.

In this framework, key questions were asked about what we are eating; about how the food that reaches our table is produced; about the relationship that exists between what we consume and the diseases we contract, at an increasingly younger age. Questions about what is offered to children and adolescents in schools, which in many cases constitutes the basis of their diet. The question is also enabled about who the State’s suppliers are and what type of production we want to support.

This debate and the conquest of this law, which has had civil society as its protagonist, has meant immense progress in the discussions and food policies of our country, and above all, it provides technical and legal tools to achieve better protection of rights to adequate food and health of the entire population. Society in general echoed the idea that it is no longer about filling bellies but rather about nourishing healthy bodies and minds, nourishing ourselves culturally and emotionally again. And according to the human rights instruments adopted by our country, it is the State that must guarantee that this is the case.

Demand the minimums without giving up the maximums

Currently, these historic advances are at serious risk, just as access to food by a large part of the population is also at risk due to the economic crisis that the country is going through and, above all, due to the shortage policies that they have been suffering. community kitchens and food assistance programs.

The subjugation of social rights seeks to reverse the progress achieved in recent years regarding the debate on food quality because, in the absence of minimum food conditions, immediate needs prevail and the need for structural transformations remain in the background flat.

Now: Is it possible that even in crisis contexts we can think about the food problem in a comprehensive and non-linear way? Is it possible to demand that emergency food policies be urgently implemented and at the same time prioritize the purchase of healthy food for soup kitchens? Of course. It is not only possible but necessary. Fighting for the minimum without giving up the maximum is the way to defend the progress achieved, the rights achieved.

The health effects of purely palliative food policies are irreversible for millions of people who have contracted chronic diseases and disabilities of different types. Today we know the serious consequences on health that come with the consumption of certain products with excess critical nutrients, as well as the lack of variety in the daily diet, the low consumption of fruits and vegetables. For this reason, we cannot settle for “what there is”, we cannot renounce the rights achieved and the progress made in the debate on the type of food we need to develop and live with dignity.

Satisfaction of the right to health, to adequate food, to a decent life cannot be left in the hands of the market, and food cannot be treated as a commodity. It is urgent that the State guarantee that all people can access decent, quality food in sufficient quantity. Quality food should be a right and not a privilege.


*Image source: Colectivo Diciembre



Maga Merlo Vijarra

María Laura Fons


Maga Merlo Vijarra, magamerlov@fundeps.org

A project to promote healthy eating that adheres to the national front labeling law was presented to the Córdoba Legislature. The initiative establishes stamp-free schools, promotes the public purchase of healthy foods and creates a monitoring commission made up of civil society organizations, among other things.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

On August 16, a project for adhesion to the Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating (PAS), better known as the “labeling law,” entered the Córdoba Legislature, which presents the best standards among the adhesion laws sanctioned so far. . It was achieved through collaborative work between the team of legislator Miranda and legislator Labat, together with the College of Nutritionists of the Province of Córdoba and Fundeps. It hopes to have the support of all the blocks that consider it a priority to defend public health and access to adequate food for all consumers and, fundamentally, children.
To understand the importance of subnational progress in relation to the national front labeling law, we must look not only at the letter of the law but also at its implementation. The text explicitly obliges the provinces to guarantee the implementation of the law in their territories, but does not say how. It does not command adherence. For this reason, at the time of the sanction and regulation of the national law, the question arose: is it necessary for the provinces to adhere? What should and what can the provinces do to guarantee effective compliance with these recognized fundamental rights? How can we guarantee equality in the enjoyment of these rights throughout the territory? Despite the questions, what was not questioned is that the national standard is mandatory throughout the country beyond the strategies defined by the province.

It is important to highlight that the standard aims to address the food issue in a comprehensive and transversal way. For this reason, it not only introduces front labeling that allows warning about the true composition of what is being consumed, but also regulates aspects such as: healthy school environments, nutritional food education, marketing strategies of food industries, public purchases. carried out by the State, etc. That is why this law is recognized as a kind of suture of the great regulatory dispersion that exists in the regulation of the right to food in Argentina, and it is also seen as a model law for the region.
Now, the implementation of all these components of the law put at the center the challenges of federalism and the system of distribution of powers, and requires coordination between different ministries, agencies and levels of government. In this scenario, the issuance of adhesion or complementary regulations emerged as the best way to ensure the full implementation of all the measures established by law, and thus effectively protect the health of the population.

To date we have only 7 adhered provinces, which according to the regulatory map of labeling in Argentina reflects 63.3% progress at the national level, and this has to do with the fact that none of the regulations regulate the implementation of the different components of the law that require it.

The bill in Córdoba

In this scenario, the bill presented in Córdoba appears as a model to be followed by the rest of the provinces. It proposes broad and comprehensive local regulation, which ensures the effective application of all the measures provided by national law. Thus, it not only assumes the responsibility of controlling and supervising compliance with the front labeling of food products and national regulations on advertising, promotion and sponsorship of these products, but also expands the scope of restrictions on advertising in the areas of local jurisdiction, such as points of sale and public roads. It also defines what is meant by advertising aimed at children and adolescents, correcting an important deficiency in national regulations. Thus, the text achieves full protection of the environment against marketing strategies that aggressively encourage the purchase of products that harm health.

Also, it speaks out regarding the two crucial components that require the actions of the provinces.

  • About school environments: prohibits the offer, sale and advertising of products with the seal within schools of all levels, formal and informal, and requires the permanent and free supply of drinking water; provides for the inclusion of food education in school curricula and teacher training plans; establishes that school cafeterias should prioritize the offer of fresh or minimally processed foods that come from local farmers; and provides that menus be designed by nutrition professionals and improvements are made to school infrastructure.
  • About public purchases: the project accepts the criteria of national law and prioritizes the purchase of healthy foods in all types of contracts and food programs. A priority that becomes absolute if the recipients are children and adolescents.

Other points to highlight in the proposed regulations have to do with the definition of the Ministry of Health as the application authority in coordination with other ministries involved. This is essential so that all the measures taken in the different areas are considered from a public health approach. We also consider the provision of complaint channels, sanction systems and registration of offenders at the local level to be a success, which allow us to reinforce national mechanisms that have been presenting certain limitations in practice.

Another point of interest, which has to do with strengthening the availability of healthy foods, is the incentive to consume unprocessed and natural foods produced by regional economies and peasant, indigenous (and/or) family agriculture.

Finally, we want to emphasize that the project provides for the creation of a Consumer Commission made up of civil society organizations, consumers and professional associations whose objective is the protection of the rights involved. Commission that guarantees citizen participation in monitoring the implementation of the law and in the development of complementary policies.

For these reasons, it is an advanced law for the promotion of healthy eating in the province. It can set the path to be followed by other provinces that have not spoken out and also for provinces with simple accessions to dictate complementary regulations that ensure comprehensive compliance with this public health policy that is being a reference in the region.

We invite citizens to support and follow the process of processing the law in the legislature. Your involvement is essential so that the balance does not tip in favor of the interests of large food industries and the rights of the population, and fundamentally children, to enjoy a healthy life and healthy eating are protected.

Access the bill


María Laura Fons


Maga Merlo Vijarra, magamerlov@fundeps.org

This infographic provides information about the responsibility that corresponds to merchants of food products and non-alcoholic beverages that present warning seals and/or precautionary legends, as arises from the incorporation of the Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating to the national regulatory system. of food, as well as international principles that govern business activity.

This report provides information about the responsibility that corresponds to merchants of food products and non-alcoholic beverages that present warning seals and/or precautionary legends, as arises from the incorporation of the Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating to the national regulatory system of food, as well as international principles that govern business activity. In this sense, the commitment of the sector is essential in order to guarantee compliance with the public policies in question and protect the health of the population.

From Fundación Sanar, Fundeps and Fagran we launched “Let’s build a healthier school”, materials aimed at the educational community. Their objective is to promote the implementation of the labeling law in school environments and reflect on the nutrition of children and adolescents.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

Law 27,642 for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, known as the labeling law, is a comprehensive policy that seeks to protect and promote the right to adequate food and the right to health, especially for children and adolescents. To achieve this, it proposes a package of measures that seek to transform the environments where they grow and develop, limiting the supply of unhealthy products in schools and exposure to marketing, educating on food and nutritional aspects, and promoting equitable access to healthy foods.

In this framework, schools constitute a key space for the implementation of the law and have specific regulations to comply with. Children and adolescents spend a large part of their time there and therefore, it is a suitable place to promote healthy habits.

In this context, the process of adaptation to the norm requires an accompanied and informed educational community. For this reason, from Fundeps, Fundación Sanar and Fagran we launched the kit of materials “Let’s build a healthier school”.

The objective is to provide tools to encourage the active participation of the entire educational community in promoting healthier and more sustainable eating practices. It includes materials so that each member can rethink her role within the process and become a change agent in school nutrition.

What materials are included in the kit?

  • A document with information about the law as a comprehensive public policy. It provides information about the evidence that supports it and the purpose of each of its axes. At the same time, it approaches a practical activity of a reflective nature to achieve collaborative work among the members of the community.
  • 3 Videos: one aimed at authorities and decision makers in the educational field, another at those responsible for children and adolescents; and one for children (which can be useful in the classroom).


This document explores arguments used by food companies against the health policies of Chile, Uruguay, Mexico and Peru, and the responses of the States. The objective is to provide tools that ensure the legal defense of policies in other countries, taking what has happened before as an example.

The objective of this work was to identify those factors that facilitate and hinder the implementation of Law 27,642 in relation to public purchases for school canteens in 5 Argentine provinces. At the same time, recommendations are made to be distributed between the executive and legislative branches of the jurisdictions.

Ícono de validado por la comunidad

From Fundeps, Fundación Sanar and Anfibia Podcast we launched “Exceso de Todo”, a podcast narrated by Lucas Fridman, which runs from the controversy around the octagons and focuses on healthy eating.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

Almost a year ago, the Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating began to be implemented in Argentina, better known as the Law of Frontal Labeling. The black octagons that we see on the products are the ones that generated the most debate, but they represent one of the components of the law.

The objective of this podcast is to bring all the points that make it up and tell in 5 episodes how we eat in Argentina and what we need to eat better. It also addresses everything from advertising regulation to what can be eaten in schools, how public purchases for school and community canteens are managed and why when we talk about food it is not about individual choices.

The testimonies it gathers are from members of organizations that promoted it, journalists, leaders in nutrition and food, environment, people from the advertising industry, among others.

Listen to the podcast here

The episodes will premiere weekly on Thursdays until August 17. The podcast will be broadcast on Spotify and on all audio platforms.



Maga Merlo, magamerlov@fundeps.org

On August 9 and 10 we will hold the 1st Congress of Food Policies in Argentina in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. It is organized by Fundeps and Fundación Sanar.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

With the participation of national and international speakers, for 2 days we will talk about the progress and challenges of the 1 year anniversary of the implementation of the Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, known as the labeling law.

We will share views and opportunities for joint work between students and health professionals, the educational community, state authorities, organizations that work for the right to health, the environment, among other actors.

The main topics of the congress include:

  • Challenges for the implementation of the law in the provinces.
  • Healthy school environments: recommendations and tools.
  • Transformation of food programs.
  • Food Industry Marketing Strategies.


  • First day (August 9): begins at 8:30 a.m. with the accreditations. There will be 3 discussion tables and speakers ending the day at 5:15 p.m.
  • Second day (August 10): starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 12:40 p.m. There will be 2 dialogue tables.

The congress will take place at SCALA HOTEL (BERNARDO DE IRIGOYEN 740, CABA).

It is free and with limited seats. Requires prior registration.


See the full program and speakers here.


The objective of this document is to provide simple, clear and timely information about the scope of Law 27,642 on the Promotion of Healthy Eating so that the various people that make up the educational community become agents of change that accompany the new food paradigm in the school environments.

The construction of healthy school environments is essential to promote healthy eating in childhood and adolescence. In this document, we gather recommendations and suggestions for the authorities in the field of education to move forward in this regard, based on the implementation of the Law for the Promotion of Healthy Eating and the adoption of complementary measures.